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Christian Discipleship, Knowing who you are, how to be a Christian

Daily Encouragement: “Who am I?”

When I joined the military I went through Basic Training. They made it very clear that prior to that point in your life you didn’t dress right, you didn’t make your bed right, you didn’t cut your hair right, you were basically nothing; but now you were going to be something. The basic message is now that you are in the military you will be somebody and you are now living life the right way.

When I joined the police department and went through the police academy it was a similar routine.

When I became a “Christian” I went through…. nothing: Absolutely nothing.

What about you? When you became a Christian, what kind of training process were you introduced to in order to orient and ground you in an intimate relationship with God? Nothing? Practically nothing? I thought so.

While a precious few may be invited to participate in some sort of membership course or something of that nature for one hour a week over the course of a few weeks, most don’t even do that.

To be fair, this isn’t solely the fault of the churches. After all, in the American culture, few are willing to invest even a minimal amount, let alone something more demanding.

So, we say a prayer and go on with life. We give up sex, drugs, and rock and roll. We might even go to church for an hour a week and try to be nice to others. We go on thinking that we are now a Christian doing all that we can do to be a good person, “believing in God”. However, very little at the core of our “new life” actually changes. If we are one of the outstanding shining stars we may even take a course or two and might even host a study group or something. However, at some point, we are faced with a particularly troublesome situation and we step back and wonder why God has abandoned us as we think something like “it wasn’t supposed to be this way: Bad things aren’t supposed to happen to good people”.

Am I wrong? Of course, there are exceptions but as I see it, this is the typical experience for most “American Christians”.

Who am I?
From my perspective, about the only people who have never questioned themselves, in this way, are liars. In other words, pretty much everyone has asked that question at one time or another whether they admit it or not.

Who am I?

When I went through military Basic Training, and later on the Police Academy, I was given my new identity. At that point, I was translated from civilian Rayphe to Soldier Rayphe, or Officer Rayphe.

In each case I was given an identification card with my new title on it, I was issued a uniform and quite a lot of special gear that others didn’t have. I was given special privileges and I was also educated and trained so that my new identity would become a part of me. I then lived that life day in and day out.

However, As I mentioned earlier, in my Christian walk I received…. nothing. Eventually, I undertook quite a lot of training and education on my own, but no one EVER suggested any sort of systemized pathway to help me embrace my new life. I didn’t even know what I didn’t know.

The resultant, unnecessary pain, heartache, and wasted time of this lack is unmeasurable. No matter how “successful” you may be from a worldly perspective, it pales to what God has to offer in Yeshua.

Is Biblical discipleship and training really that big of a deal?
The reason I am sharing my experience, and these other things, with you, is because I know that what I experienced is very typical for new Believers who convert to Christianity. If you are an exception to that then you can praise God that you are just that; an exception.

It is a travesty that new Believers are introduced to the faith, made a bunch of promises, and then told that Jesus will take care of them now as long as they attend church and tithe.

The sad reality is that most Christians are NEVER told who they are “In Christ” and fewer still are ever told how to appropriate the many blessings that they have inherited as a beloved son or daughter of the Most HIgh God.

To some, what I am describing here may seem to be “over the top”. However, to others, it could mean the difference between life and death .. very literally. To others, it could mean years, or decades, of unnecessary turmoil.

Entering into an intimate relationship with God requires intentional effort just like other relationships require effort
Entering into an intimate relationship with Yeshua, the God above all Gods, and then appropriating His ways into who we are usually does not “just happen”. Without miraculous intervention to hasten the process, which sometimes occurs but more often not, the process of transforming into who Yahweh God wants us to be can be an arduous process.

If you haven’t wholly, completely, and genuinely surrendered every area of your life to Yeshua then your perspective of the world is skewed. The problem is, as I mentioned above, until we are shown, we don’t even know what that looks like. We then go through life thinking that we are on the right track when in actuality, we are not.

Trust in Yahweh with ALL your heart; and lean not unto your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.

Proverbs 3:5-6

What you don’t know can hurt you
Here is an example: This is a true story. Some time ago there was a man who was stranded out in the Alaskan wilderness. There was an abundance of rabbit in the area and so that man was able to procure a good amount of rabbit for his meals. Personally, I don’t eat rabbit but I understand that its taste is quite good; much like chicken.

The man ate all of the rabbit meat that he wanted. He hardly ever went hungry however he still starved to death: He died. Rabbit meat does not have the necessary nutrients in it to sustain human life, regardless of how much of it one were to eat.

What you don’t know that you don’t know can indeed impair, impede, and even kill you when you don’t even know it.

This principle not only applies to the physical realm but it applies to the spirit realm even more.

Trust in God for ALL your ways… not some ways, not just when you “go to church”: All your ways, all your days.

There is a way which seems right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.

Proverbs 14:12

So what is the answer?
The more you grow in an intimate relationship with God in Yeshua, and learn His ways, the clearer and more accurate your perceptions of reality will be.

Why do I say that?  Because Yeshua IS reality (Jn. 14:6). Not only is Yeshua reality but as a Believer, Yeshua is YOUR reality. He is the only way to your heavenly Father.  So if you don’t see the world wholly and completely through the lens of Yeshua, then you are not seeing reality; at least not in its fullness.  It’s sort of like having to put on 3D glasses in order to accurately and fully see a 3D movie.

The more distant your relationship with Yeshua, the more lacking your life will be. The more areas of your life that you withhold from Him, the more lacking your life will be. These principles apply whether you are out of sync with Him intentionally or ignorantly.

Whether or not you are aware that you are distant from Yeshua in a particular area of your life, or not, the result is the same. The farther you are from Him, the more skewed your perspective of yourself, others, and the world will be and the more problems you will experience.

What you need to know
Some of the kinds of things that you need to be aware of are who you are as a beloved son or daughter of God, the truth about love and it’s many aspects, Biblical health, healing, EXACTLY what is faith and how to walk it out, forgiveness, fruits of the Spirit, “gifts” of the Spirit, how satan works, curses and demons, prayer, the basics of Biblical Israel, and much more: Some of which are briefly addressed here.

If you have never connected with someone who can help you in your relationship with God, and then help you to walk out His ways in your life so that you don’t have to take years and even decades to “reinvent the wheel”, then I can’t recommend enough that you do so. You probably don’t even know what you don’t know and what you don’t know is hurting you.

We would be happy to help if you would like.

There are very troubling times ahead for America and Americans. The more rooted and grounded in these things you are, the better you will weather the storm.

Blessings in Yeshua
Parson Rayphe
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